United-Red Bulls Preview
The New York Red Bulls lead MLS in scoring, a gap that grew even
wider with their latest blowout victory. D.C. United don’t have to
be reminded of the Red Bulls’ offensive capabilities.
United look to avenge a 4-0 April loss to New York as they visit
Red Bull Arena on Saturday night, when the Eastern Conference
rivals meet for the first time since making a significant trade
late last month.
The duo of Thierry Henry and Luke Rodgers up front has helped
the Red Bulls (6-3-10) score a league-high 34 goals, and both
strikers put one away Wednesday against Toronto.
New York, however, didn’t stop with those first-half tallies.
Showing off the team’s scoring depth, Joel Lindpere scored his
fourth goal in three games and Juan Agudelo struck twice to
complete a 5-0 rout.
It was only the second victory in a 12-game stretch for New
York. That certainly surprised midfielder Dax McCarty, who came
over from United (4-5-7) on June 27 for Dwayne De Rosario.
“Watching their past few games, it’s just little mental mistakes
that undo us,” McCarty said. “Today we didn’t have any of those.
When we don’t have any mental mistakes in the back I think we are
going to be very hard to stop. You can tell the talent is here, no
doubt about it. Now it’s just of matter of proving it.”
The Red Bulls certainly showed off that skill when McCarty was
still playing in the nation’s capital. Henry had two goals in the
first half, and Lindpere and Agudelo wrapped up the scoring at RFK
Stadium on April 21.
“It’s obviously a revenge game for us,” midfielder Chris Pontius
told United’s official website. “I think if there’s any time to go
up there and get a win in New York, it’s now. Especially after them
beating Toronto 5-0, they’re feeling a little bit confident about
themselves. I think we can go up there and spoil the party.”
Getting a goal out of De Rosario would be a good start. In his
D.C. debut last Saturday against Philadelphia, the two-time MLS Cup
MVP assisted on Josh Wolff’s first-half tally in a 2-all draw.
Coach Ben Olsen was impressed with De Rosario’s performance,
saying he “worked his tail off.” De Rosario, meanwhile, liked what
he saw from his new teammates.
“These guys understand the game at a high level and they make
quality runs,” De Rosario said. “It’s good to come into a situation
like this and to have an immediate impact and help the team. I’m
looking forward to continuing an understanding with those
What D.C. has to do if it expects different result than it got
in April, though, is limit the space it gives the Red Bulls in the
midfield. Olsen understands that, but that doesn’t make it any
easier to execute.
“When Thierry comes back into midfield and they have time to
face you, they’re very, very dangerous,” he said.